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2001 Subaru Forester crunching noise in rear passenger side

Hello! I have a 2001 Subaru Forester S Premium automatic with approx 95,500 miles. I take excellent care of this car. The car is currently making a “crunching” sound when I first start out (when the car is “cold”…not sure how cold a car can get in Southeast Florida). The noise sounds like it is coming from the rear right (passenger) side. When I make right hand turns it makes a crunching/something is rubbing noise…it is NOT the wheel bearing…I know what that sounds like since I had them replaced three times (once on rear driver and twice on rear passenger side). After a few minutes it goes away. I had a Subaru dealer look at it and an independent mechanic look at it and they could not find anything wrong and they did not hear the noise. Now about six weeks later the noise is starting to happen when driving straight (and with right turns) but still disappears after a few minutes of driving. The car had the catalytic converter replaced on it a few months ago before the noise started and had rear brakes done after the noise started (Subaru dealership said they didn’t hear the noise and didn’t see anything wrong…but I needed breaks…) . Have you seen this before? Do you have any idea what could be wrong? Thanks.

Does it have disc brakes on the rear?

Yes, it does have disc brakes.

Hi there. You may have already solved your problem, but if not, have somebody check your right rear strut. Sounds strange, and I tried to describe my noise that way as well - “when the car is “cold””. Have had mine replaced a couple of times (2nd time the new one was faulty and broke almost right away) so I’m getting familiar with the noise. Does it seem also that you hear it when you are going slow, like turning in a parking lot? Once you are up to speed do you still hear it? Anyway, just a thought, as the way you describe it is what my noise sounded like, too. Hope you have it solved by now anyhow.

Hi! No the problem is not fixed…the car is still making the noise but it has not gotten worse. Thanks for the tip…I will have them check the right rear strut. My milage now is about 96,700.

BTW, a new problem has started…an oil leak. Had Subaru check it out and they said I need to replace all the seals and gaskets…which will take three days of labor to do at about $2300. I asked the guy what he would do and he said he would leave the car alone…so that is what I am going to do. I just need to check the oil level more often. It’s not a big leak…just a few drips here and there.

If the rear right noise gets fixed I will let you know what the issue was… Thanks.

That sounds exactly like what my car is doing (2002 Forester with 107K miles). When I drive slower than 25 mph, there’s an awful sound from the right rear tire area. Once I’m going faster, it disappears. Have an app’t with the mechanic in a couple of days. If this is the problem, what do you think it’ll cost to repair it? Thanks!